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Terence McKenna - Mushrooms, Elves, And Magic

Terence McKenna - Mushrooms, Elves, And Magic

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Published by galaxy5111
Mushrooms, Elves and Magic [Image] "Drugs are part of the human experience, and we have got to create a more sophisticated way of dealing with them..." with Terence K. McKenna Terence McKenna is one of the leading authorities on the ontologicaI foundations of shamanism and the ethno-pharmacology of spiritual transformation. After graduating from UC Berkeley with a major in Ecology, Resource Conservation and Shamanism, he traveled through the Asian and New World Tropics and became specialized in
Mushrooms, Elves and Magic [Image] "Drugs are part of the human experience, and we have got to create a more sophisticated way of dealing with them..." with Terence K. McKenna Terence McKenna is one of the leading authorities on the ontologicaI foundations of shamanism and the ethno-pharmacology of spiritual transformation. After graduating from UC Berkeley with a major in Ecology, Resource Conservation and Shamanism, he traveled through the Asian and New World Tropics and became specialized in

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Published by: galaxy5111 on Aug 20, 2010
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Mushrooms, Elves and Magic[Image]"Drugs are part of the human experience, and we have got to create amoresophisticated way of dealing with them..."with Terence K. McKennaTerence McKenna is one of the leading authorities on the ontologicaIfoundations of shamanism and the ethno-pharmacology of spiritualtransformation. After graduating from UC Berkeley with a major inEcology,Resource Conservation and Shamanism, he traveled through the Asian andNewWorld Tropics and became specialized in the shamanism and ethno-medicineofthe Amazon Basin. What he learned in these explorations is documented inTheInvisible Landscape, which he wrote with his brother Dennis.Born in 1946, Terence is the father of two children, a girl of elevenand aboy of fourteen. He is the founder of Botanical Dimensions-a tax-exempt,nonprofit research botanical garden based in Hawaii. This project isdevotedto collecting and propagating plants of ethno-pharmacological interestandpreserving the shamanic lore which accompanies their use.Living in California, Terence divides his time between writing andlecturingand he has developed a software program called Timewave Zero. Hishypnoticmulti-syllabic drawl is captured on the audio-tape adventure series TrueHallucinations--soon to be published in book form--which tells of hisadventures in far-flung lands in various exotic states of consciousness.Terence is also the author of Food of the Gods, which is a unique studyofthe impact of psychotropic plants on human culture and evolution and TheArchaic Revival, in which this interview appears. His latest bookTrialoguesat the Edge of the West, is a collection of "discursive chats " withmathematician Ralph Abraham and biologist Rupert Sheldrake.This was our first interview It took place on November 30th, 1988 in thedramatic setting of Big Sur. Overlooking the Pacific Ocean we sat on thetopfloor of the Big House at the Esalen Institute, where Terence was givingaweekend seminar. He needed little provocation to enchant us with thepyrotechnic wordplay which is his trademark, spinning together thecognitivedestinies of Gaia, machines, and language and offering a highlyunorthodoxdescription of our own evolution.RMN
 
Go to InterviewBibliographyDJB: It's a pleasure to be here with you again, Terence. We'd like tobeginby asking you to tell us how you became interested in shamanism and theexploration of consciousness.Terence: I discovered shamanism through an interest in Tibetan folkreligion. Bon, the pre-Buddhist religion of Tibet is a kind ofshamanism. Ingoing from the particular to the general with that concern, I studiedshamanism as a general phenomenon. It all started out as an arthistoricalinterest in the pre-Buddhist iconography of thankas.DJB: This was how long ago?Terence: This was in '67 when I was a sophomore in college. The interestinaltered states of consciousness came simply from, I don't know whether Iwasa precocious kid or what, but I was very early into the New Yorkliteraryscene, and even though I lived in a small town in Colorado, I subscribedtothe Village Voice, and there I encountered propaganda about LSD,mescaline,and all these experiments that the late beatniks were involved in. ThenIread The Doors of Perception and Heaven and Hell, and it just rolledfromthere. That was what really put me over. I respected Huxley as anovelist,and I was slowly reading everything he'd ever written, and when I got toTheDoors of Perception I said to myself, "There's something going on hereforsure."DJB: To what do you attribute your increasing popularity, and what roledoyou see yourself playing in the social sphere?Terence: Well, without being cynical, the main thing I attribute to myincreasing popularity is better public relations. As far as what roleI'llplay, I don't know, I mean I assume that anyone who has anythingconstructive to say about our relationship to chemical substances,naturaland synthetic, is going to have a social role to play, because this drugissue is just going to loom larger and larger on the social agenda untilweget some resolution of it, and by resolution I don't mean suppressionorjustsaying no. I anticipate a new open-mindedness born of desperation on thepart of the Establishment. Drugs are part of the human experience, andwehave got to create a more sophisticated way of dealing with them thanexhortations to abstinence, because that has failed.
 
RMN: You have said that the term "New Age" trivializes the significanceofthe next phase in human evolution and have referred instead to theemergenceof an archaic revival. How do you differentiate between these twoexpressions?Terence: The New Age is essentially humanistic psychology, eightiesstyle,with the addition of neo-shamanism, channeling, crystal and herbalhealing,and this sort of thing. The archaic revival is a much larger, moreglobalphenomenon that assumes that we are recovering the social forms of thelateNeolithic. It reaches far back in the twentieth century to Freud, tosurrealism, to abstract expressionism, even to a phenomenon likeNationalSocialism which is a negative force. But the stress on ritual, onorganizedactivity, on race/ancestor consciousness these are themes that have beenworked out throughout the entire twentieth century, and the archaicrevivalis an expression of that.RMN: In the book you wrote with your brother Dennis, The InvisibleLandscape, and in recent lectures and workshops, you've spoken of a newmodel of time and your efforts to model the evolution of novelty basedonthe ancient oriental system of divination, the I-Ching. Can you brieflyexplain how you developed this model, and how an individual can utilizethissystem to modulate their own perspective on the nature of time?Terence: Ah, no. I think I'd rather send you a reprint of a recent paperinRevision than to try and cover that. It's not easily explained. If Iwere togive an extremely brief resume of it, I would say that the new view oftimeis that time is holographic, fractal, and moves toward a definitiveconclusion, rather than the historical model of time which is open-ended,trendlessly fluctuating, and in practical terms endless. What's beingproposed is a spiral model of history, that sees history as a processactually leading toward a conclusion. But the details of it are fairlycomplex.DJB: According to your time-wave model, novelty reaches its peakexpressionand history appears to come to a close in the year 2012. Can you explainwhat you mean by this, and what the global or evolutionary implicationsareof what you refer to as the "end of time"?Terence: What I mean is this. The theory describes time with what arecallednovelty waves, because waves have wavelengths, one must assign an endpoint

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